D.3.  Foreign affiliates surveys

6.107.    Special surveys for collecting FATS could be designed to complement existing data collection systems, such as SBS or FDI. Those surveys would be limited to the subset of the FDI population that qualifies for FATS and may be conducted as an extension of the existing FDI surveys or less frequently. Naturally, information from the business register or the FDI register would be necessary to identify the target population. Such surveys could be conducted separately for both inward FATS and outward FATS, and would enable more possibilities in terms of collecting detailed data, in particular for outward FATS. That approach may also be appropriate when an existing FDI data collection programme is not already in place or cannot be easily adapted for the requirements of compiling FATS. In general, separate surveys would be required for inward FATS and outward FATS owing to the distinctly different populations, although in certain circumstances, that would not be the case, such as, for outward FATS, when many of the mother companies of the compiling economy are themselves controlled from abroad.  It is also important to note that the ability to conduct separate surveys may be limited by legal and institutional conditions in the compiling economy.

6.108.    One of the main drawbacks of conducting a dedicated FATS survey is that it may be costly and burdensome to develop additional surveys. However, such a solution has a number of advantages, including that it can be specially targeted towards the relevant inward and/or outward population. More importantly, it can be targeted to the needs of users, and its design can more closely follow international recommendations, including the development of detailed guidelines for survey respondents. Such a survey could have all or most of the various dimensions listed in MSITS 2010. As a general consideration, it may be easier to approach the inward FATS population for detailed data than the outward. As an alternative approach, the existing SBS could be extended with questions for inward foreign affiliates, which could be more cost effective overall.

6.109.    The information that can be covered in a FATS survey includes all the requirements of MSITS 2010 and the guidelines presented in the OECD Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment, 4th ed. (BD4) and the OECD Handbook on Economic Globalization Indicators (HEGI). In the context of the international supply of services, those requirements and guidelines are also listed in chapter 15 of the present Guide. The information to be covered will also depend on the identified national needs. In the first stages of development,  a FATS survey could cover the following aspects:

(a) If not already covered by the register(s) or related FDI surveys, information on the type of affiliate (subsidiary, branch or associate), its main activity, the country of the UCI (for inward FATS) and the country of establishment of the affiliate (for outward FATS);

(b) Variables, namely sales and turnover (with a breakdown into total sales of goods and total sales of services, if possible), employment (distinguishing employees recruited from overseas and intracorporate transferees, if possible) and purchases of goods and services for intermediation consumption, as well as those for resale;

(c) For sales, the separate identification of (i) sales (of services) made in the host economy, (ii) exports to the economy of the UCI and (iii) exports to third economies;

(d) Other details and breakdowns as experience in use of the FATS survey develops, depending on the results obtained and the use that can be made of them.


Next: D.4. Country experiences (Chapter 6)